How To:

Building/ Stocking Your Own Pond For Fishing

Author: Bullbuster Team

Build Your Own Pond For Fishing

Some people who have a significant amount of land may actually want to build their own pond and stock it with their own fish.  This can be a big project and may be costly. If you have a small river to damn, that may be a lot easier than building the thing from scratch and waiting for rain to fill it.  Our goal with this article is to put all of the research you will need to do into one place so that you can be more successful with your pond build.   

A Time Lapse Of What Your Pond Build Project Could Look Like

Below is an amazing video shot by Youtuber "SeverNayaCL" that shows how much work it takes to build a simple pond.  As a DIY fishing project, this isn't for the faint of heart, but if you plan properly, or work with the right professionals, it will be  well worth it. 

5 Reasons To Build A Pond On Your Land

1) Great Place To Spend  Time With Your Family - Your kids will not forget the memories they had while fishing in the pond. 

2) You Will Have A Grocery Store On Your Land - If your pond is well maintained you will easily be able to grab a few fish for a good meal. 

3) Attract Wildlife To Your Land  - Having a pond on your land can attract wildlife to the area, if you are a hunter you won't mind this. 

4) Have Water To Fight Fires On Your Land - If you have the potential for fires near your land, this is a great resource. 

5) Your Dog Will Love It - No better place to cool of on a hot day. 

How Much Does It Cost To Build Your Own Pond?

It can cost anywhere from $2,000 - $20,000 to make a pond.  This includes costs to excavate, seal, and stock the pond.  This link is probably the best guide on the internet to estimate the cost of building your pond

Costs To Consider Include

- Excavating


- Filling

- Adding Features

- Stocking

Learn From Other's Mistakes Before You Build Your Pond

If you are reading this article that is a good first step, because that means that you are doing your research.   Below is a video posted by Youtuber "Webbs Water Gardens" that covers the top three mistakes that people who make ponds make: 

According to "Webb's Water Gardens" the top three mistakes are":

1) Distance From You - Putting the pond too far away to enjoy

2) Size - Making the pond too small since smaller ponds are harding to maintain since they have a harder time maintaining their own natural balance. 

3) Gradient Of The Land Around It - Putting their pond in a location where there is too much runoff since this can erode the structure of the pond and bring too many nutrients in. (In another video below you will see an instance where the opposite is the case). 

Sometimes You May Need To Seek An Alternative Source Of Water To Fill Your Pond With

Below is a video posted by Youtuber “Huntin Grounds” on how he started to build his own pond for his dad to fish on.   A lot of work and money went into getting this pond made and after what he went through it did not work out as planned. So below the video are even more resources on how to prevent that from happening to you. 

Getting Water To Stay In Your Pond

The video below solves some of the water problems that “Huntin Grounds” had. If you don’t have a stream nearby, you may have other sources of rain water. 

Re-Route Water Runoff To Your Pond

Youtuber “CarlTheLandscaper” shows you how to capitalize on the rainwater from the rain gutters of the house.   Notice that he uses the slope of the pipe to keep water from overflowing out of the pond. 

Use A Chemical Liner To Help Your Pond Have A Ground Seal

You can use a chemical called "Bentonite" to seal the bottom of your pond. Below is a video of how this can be done posted by Youtuber "Randall Wingnett".  Randall does this after the fact and has to work on the corners of the pond.  The next video  will show you how it should be done if  you are in charge of building the pond from scratch. 

If You Are Building Your Pond From Scratch You Should Start With Liner

Below is what in the video posted by Youtuber "Darcy Davis" you will see what it looks like to start your pond from scratch and put the liner to begin with.  As you have already seen, this can save you a lot of headaches later on in the game. 

Making Sure That Your Pond Does Not Overflow & Cause Erosion

The opposite problem to the one that we covered above is if your pond starts to overflow and starts to cause erosion.  A pond overflowing can cause significant damage to your property, or you could loose all those expensive fish that you stocked it with. Below in a video posted by Youtuber "PermaCulturePA" you can get an idea of what this looks like on a small scale with a small pond. 

Resources For Building Your Ponds Spillway

We are by no means experts on pond spillways, but we did find a few resources that you may find useful for pond spillways and have listed them below: 

Do's & Don'ts Of Pond Spillways

Pond Bass Magazine's Forum Post On Pond Spillways

Stocking Your Own Pond For Fishing (Semi Warm Climate)

There are two ways to stock your own pond.  The first way will be VERY time consuming, but a lot of fun and cost less money.   The second one will be more expensive but may lead to better fishing in the long run.  Those two ways are catching your own fish, or working with a fish hatchery to set up your pond. 

Setting Up Your Ponds Ecosystem

Regardless of the way you choose to stock your pond, watching the video below posted by the Youtube Channel “Fender's Fish Hatchery” an Ohio based hatchery will be helpful to get you set up with a bit of an understanding of how to set up an ecosystem for your pond.

Interesting points from the video 

  • 1) Creating A Balance: Stocking bass and bluegill you can keep a pond going for generations since they counteract each other

  • 2) Some Fish You Need To Harvest: Catfish hold back bass by eating more bluegill and should only be put in if you plan to harvest them

  • 3) Keeping Parasites Out : Using ‘Shell Crackers’ (Red Eared Sunfish) - You can keep snail populations down which reduces parasites in the fish you want to eat

  • 4) You Need To Check Your Local Regulations: Some fish may be illegal to stock -- check in with your local department of natural resources. 

Getting Your Pond Ready To Have Trophy Fish In It

You may also want to watch this really in depth video on planning for  a really productive or "fertilized" pond for fishing. You can have a pond that has fish in it, and you can have a pond that has really big healthy fish in it, that requires a certain amount of planning. 

You Can Restock Ponds That Already Have Fish In Them

Below is what it looks like to stock a pond with fish from a hatchery on a small scale.  This video was posted by well known Bass fishing Youtuber “Flair”. In this video he releases a number of small sunfish that can serve as parasite eaters and bass/catfish food. He also releases a carp that will work to keep the plant growth down. 

Adding Predators & Gamefish To Your Pond

In the video before "Flair" added some smaller fish to the pond that are vital to the ecosystem.  Below is kind of the next level with some larger fish by the same Youtuber “Flair” now that the pond is ready to support these kind of fish. These are the fish that are good to catch and eat. 

After Building & Stocking Your Pond Your Will Need To Maintain It

Use This In Depth Guide On Pond Maintenance

Below is a great guide put together by the Youtube Channel "Penn State Extension" that has a number of tips for maintaining your pond. Universities around the country maintain fisheries programs that help citizens to stock and maintain healthy ponds. 

Below you will find an outline of points from the Penn State Extension Video. However its probably good to watch it anyways because it gets way more specific on each of the points below. 

According To The Video To Problems With Ponds Include:

1) Excessive Plant Growth

2) Unwelcome Wildlife

3) Water Quality Issues Leading To Fish Kills

5 Tips Recommended From The Video Are:

1) Make Pond Water Quality Measurements

2) Look For & Indentify Pond Problems Early

3) Control Nutrients & Sediment

4) Manage Aquatic Plants & Algae Properly

5) Mange Fish & Wildlife Properly 

If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in an article about Koi Pond Ideas as well

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